MAX News Archive

Archived Plugin News  –  August 2007

Site News: No updates for the next few days...

I'm off home to England for the next 5 days, so there won't be any updates until next Wednesday (unless anything really interesting happens :o)


Site News: Calling all registered Druid owners...

If you were a registered user of Druid from Sisyphus Software, I would love to hear from you! I've recompiled Druid for Max 8 and 9, but due to licensing restrictions I can only give this update to registered users.

Just send me an email with your name and serial number, and starting next week I should be able to send you a copy of the update. At the moment the list of registered users is still being tracked down, but it will turn up.

I will only be able to send this out to people who are on the list of registered users, so if you never bought the plugin, don't bother sending me a mail asking for it.

Plugin Update: Objects / Particles

Another plugin that used to be commercial, MaxTrax has also been recompiled for Max 8 and 9 (32-bit and 64-bit) and released as freeware.

MaxTrax is a mixture of procedural object and particle system for creating tyre tracks, skid marks, or anything else you need to create trails for. It consists of two types of object: MTrack uses particles to create the trails and can be influenced by particle spacewarps, and GTrack, which creates the trails using geometry and can be collapsed to a mesh.

Thanks again to Eric Peterson and Kyle Strawitz for sorting this out for me.

Plugin Update: Objects

This was originally a commercial plugin, but it has now been recompiled for Max 8 and 9 (32-bit and 64-bit) and released as freeware.

Proteus is a powerful metaball package which includes a full complement of metaprimitives, the Proteus MetaSurface, and a modifier form of Proteus which can turn normal objects into metasurfaces. Proteus offers built-in scaling controls, negative tension capabilities, and color-coded wireframes according to tension.

Thanks once again to Eric Peterson and Kyle Strawitz for sorting this out for me.

Plugin Update: Objects

I've recompiled Grass-O-matic for Max 8 and 9 (32-bit and 64-bit). The plugin died after Max 5 came out, but thanks to Eric Peterson, who gave me the source code, and Kyle Strawitz, who got the ball rolling, Grass-O-matic is back.

Plugin Update: Renderers

The latest new build of Brazil r/s v2, build 1334, is now available from the SplutterFish FishMarket Account (if you have upgraded to Brazil r/s v2). You can find a full list of enhancements and bugfixes here.

Plugin News: Nova Ω 5.9 Beta 2

Vertice have put the Beta 2 version of Nova Ω 5.9 online. Changes include:
- Adds support for importing Collada files
- Adds support for 3ds Max 2008
- Adds Nova Widgets: Static Text, Slider, Checkbox
- Adds a new engine to manage .mxb files
- Adds an Exe Launcher
- Adds support for Free Cameras and Free Directional Lights
- Adds Debug Tools
- Adds support for advanced HLSL shaders
- Adds the Actions graphics editor (NovaExplorer and Max 9+)
- Adds the Particle graphics editor (NovaExplorer and Max 9+)
- Improvements in video capture

Full details on taking part in the beta test can be found here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.1 are:
- Adds Vista support to the Max 9 plugin

QTiP Pro is available for Max 4 to 9 and costs $20. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Texturing

Changes for v1.280 are:
- Fixes Max 9 crashing when brushing objects on terrain
- Planter objects now get rendered when network rendering
- Fixes a crash when used together with DreamScape
- Fixes Terrain Map textures disappearing with certain graphics cards

GroundWiz is available for Max 6 to 9 and costs $180. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.0 are:
- No changes, I just recompiled it for Max 9 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Plugin Update: MAXScript Extensions

Changes for v1.34 are:
- No changes, I just recompiled it for 32-bit Max 9

Thanks to Bill Dahlinger for sorting out the source code for me.

Plugin News: VRayISO Beta 4 available

Dieter Morgenroth has recompiled his VRayISO plugin for V-Ray v1.5, you can get it here. He's also added a new very experimental feature called GenUVs, which tries to generate UV coordinates in the 3D space by projecting the UVs of the source mesh.

New Plugin: Import / Export

The *.SAM file format is a simple ASCII file format - hence the file extension standing for 'Sample ASCII Model'. SAM files store mesh-based model data and skeleton data, as well as the names of applied materials. Along with the exporter comes a SAM importer. However, since SAM files only store a specific subset of the original scene, the result after importing will most likely differ from the latter.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v2.5 are:
- Fixes 'Use current wave file' not recognizing files with CAPS extension
- Returns info to listener if an audio file can't be processed
- Host application info is now saved in the .VOM file
- Adds proper error checking
- Fixes Smoothing and Anticipation inconsistency bug
- Adds support for .anno recognition file

Voice-O-Matic is available for Max 6 to 9 and costs $349. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.01 are:
- Fixes some minor bugs
- Fixes real-time shadow quality issues

Click-VR Visualizer is available for Max 5 to 9 and costs €1,180. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.1.3 are:
- Adds support for ArchiCAD11
- Three layers of textures are now supported
- Adds an early beta version of a 'TurnTool Viewer V3' template
- Bugs fixes and improvements

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v4.02 are:
- Adds support for Max 2008

Orionflame is available for Max 6 to 9 and costs $149. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v3.7 are:
- You can now pick whether to output a Mesh or Poly object
- Changes some of the default values

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.2.18 are:
- Fixes a vertex color bug

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v3.5 are:
- Fixes a bug that was causing problems when converting to an Editable Mesh

Plugin Update: Import / Export

The Max-relevant changes for v2.05 are:
- Adds support for XSI 6 Mod Tool and XSI 6.5
- Fixes a crash when importing skinned and shape animated characters into Max
- Shapekeys no longer override skin deformers in Max

Plugin Update: Particles / Renderer

Changes for v1.0.1.29090 are:
- Adds support for Near and Far Light Attenuation Ranges
- Fixes a bug in Presets saving with the parameters for Load Densities
- Removes some debugging code which flagged leaking particles red when using culling volumes
- Adds UPDATE VIEW CACHE button to quickly refresh particles
- Adds 'Get...' and 'Get All From Object' buttons to the 'Modifier Gizmo Size' controls
- Adds a progress bar to the Particle Counts Graph

Krakatoa is available for Max 8 and 9, and costs $495 plus support ($123.75) for the standard bundle (1 workstation license and 2 rendering licenses). A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Modelling / Animation

Hairtrix consists of two formerly independent plugins, hairfx and Ornatrix. The basic idea behind Hairtrix has been to make a combined generalized framework of tools that allow creation, manipulation, and rendering of sub-pixel objects such as hair. This is no easy task because of the complexity level of structures that have to be dealt with. However, Hairtrix makes creating and animating realistic hair and fur quickly and efficiently a reality.

Features include:
- Brush-based hair combing directly within the Max viewports
- Multiple dynamics engines (including Aegia PhysX) for fast creation of complex hair motion
- Cloth Mesh converter provides support for built-in cloth and SimCloth3 dynamics
- Advanced anti-aliasing engines for clean renders
- Full mental ray support
- Improved Surface Distribution dialogs for deriving parameters from emitter surfaces
- Random Distribution curve controls define the distribution of a parameter over its range
- Improved, flexible export of hair to external plugin tools and MAXScript
- Improved anti-aliasing through a new thick strand renderer
- Buckets of any size / order lowers memory usage and improves integration with ray tracers
- Unique channel-based system for total control over visual properties of hair and fur
- Multiple hair specific materials allow full control over the final look of your hair
- Atmospheric render controls balance render speed with quality output
- Multiple hair modifiers for layering of effects (frizz, curliness, direction, clustering, strand detail etc.)

Hairtrix is available for Max 8 and 9 (32-bit and 64-bit), and costs $695.

Plugin Update: Modifiers

Changes for v1.52 are:
- Adds support for 64-bit Max 9

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v2.7.0.25 are:
- Nothing Max-specific, just general fixes. The changelog is here

Granny Exporter is available for Max 6 to 9 and is part of the Granny Toolkit which costs $12500.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.4 are:
- Adds dialogs for configuring scene, object, and mesh animation properties
- Adds a feature to enable/disable generation of text mesh and skeleton files
- Adds a feature to ignore specific bones when exporting skeleton animations
- Modifies how LOD generation is enabled per object
- Modifies the lodDistance property to be specified in generic units
- The billboard set commonDirection and commonUpVector properties are now specified in world units
- Removes the exportSettingsFile property
- Fixes the exporter so that it respects the 'suppress prompts' flag that Max supplies
- Fixes a bug with vertex normals

Plugin Update: Connection

Changes for Build 291733 are:
- Multipass shadow layers are now correct if not all render layers are generated
- Fixes embedded alpha in output targa picture files
- Adds both EXR and EPX formats for animation output
- Applying ventilators onto ecosystems no longer resets the color shift of influenced instances
- Adds output format when recovering HyperVue tmp files with the -t command line
- It is now possible to save multipass output without checking either color, alpha or depth
- Fixes a memory leak when writing EXR files

Vue 6 xStream is available for Max 7 to 9 and costs $895. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v4.01 are:
- Improved even out algorithm for Coons and Loft Surfaces
- Setup now removes Orionflame 2 and 3 before installing Orionflame 4

Orionflame is available for Max 6 to 9 and costs $149. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.8.6 are:
- A huge amount of new features and fixes, the whole list can be found here

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.04C are:
- Fixes a bug in the exporter for scenes with multiple skinned meshes

New Plugin: Post FX

Color Symmetry is a suite of plugins that allows film 'looks' to be easily emulated and previewed within a wide array of animation, graphics and effects packages. Color Symmetry lets you handle color accurately and consistently across mediums, applications, platforms and even facilities. It also helps you to build robust color pipelines to support complex feature film projects right out of the box.

The plugins are powered by a custom library of film profiles, proprietary Look-Up Tables (LUTs), color correction nodes and transformation techniques that eliminate color disparity between the way images appear when being manipulated, integrated and rendered and the way they would look on real film stock. The same functionality, film profile display mechanisms and color correction operations are mirrored in all Color Symmetry-supported applications, which cover a complete range of popular products for painting, compositing, animation, visual effects, editing and DI.

Color Symmetry is available for Max 8 and 9, and pricing is available upon request.

New Plugin: Atmospherics / Animation

Ozone 3 is a complete solution for creating multi-faceted atmospheres in Max. It features an elaborate atmosphere engine that does much more than create extremely realistic sky pictures. Ozone's atmospheres provide an accurately simulated environment that affects all the elements of the scene, and behave according to nature's rules. The appearance of an object in your scene is directly affected by the position of the sun, the cloud cover, the amount of dust in the air, or the humidity level.

With four atmospheric models - spectral, volumetric, standard and environment mapping, over 100 preset atmospheres and 100 preset cloud shapes, Ozone 3.0 is a complete, elaborate and productive solution for creating skies and atmospheres.

Ozone is available for Max 7 to 9 (32-bit and 64-bit) and costs $199.

Plugin News: Syflex for 3ds Max

Syflex Software are gearing up to release their cloth simulator SyFlex for 3ds Max. They have posted a screen shot here. There are no details on pricing or release date yet, but as soon as I find out I'll post it here.

Plugin News: FLOOD:Surf v1.0 Beta

Frantic Films Software are offering a 25% discount on pre-release purchases of their upcoming ocean simulator FLOOD:Surf ($895 + support instead of $1195 + support). They expect to have a commercial release of FLOOD:Surf v1.0 in the 4th quarter of 2007. Purchase of a pre-release license will also provide access to the FLOOD:Surf beta. More information here.

Plugin Update: Connection

Changes for v6.5 are:
- Create skies with overlapping spectral cloud layers
- New cloud lighting technology that lets local lights affect spectral atmospheres and clouds
- Spectral atmosphere animations render significantly faster

Release 6.5 is available as a free software upgrade for all Vue 6 xStream owners.

Vue 6 xStream is available for Max 7 to 9 and costs $895. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v1.1c are:
- Adds support for Max 9 (32-bit and 64-bit)

ColorPolyByVerts is available for Max 5 to 9 and costs $10 for commercial use (it's free for non-commercial use). A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

There is no official announcement on the Chaos Group site yet (probably because they are still at the Siggraph) but it looks like V-Ray v1.5 has been released. There are so many changes in this update that I couldn't possibly list them all here. As soon as Chaos Group post something on their site I'll add it here.

V-Ray is available for Max 6 to 9 (I think) and costs $299 (Basic) / $799 (Advanced). A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Renderers

Changes for v1.34 are:
- Rendering quality of surfaces placed near cameras has been improved
- The Open and Save buttons for Liquid+ line/line elements have been fixed in Max 9

Liquid+ is available for Max 5 to 9 and costs ¥45,800. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Max 9 plugins compatible with Max 2008

Just wanted to let everyone know that the majority of plugins written for Max 9 will be compatible with Max 2008, which should be shipping around October 17th.

Plugin Update: Utilities

Changes for v2.51 are:
- Fixes a bug when applying Glue to splines in X/Y axis
- Adds an option to preserve original vertices of linear splines (curved splines are always interpolated)
- Vertices of the resulting spline now may be converted to Bezier and edited

New Plugin: Particles / Renderer

Krakatoa is a production-proven volumetric particle rendering, manipulation and management toolkit. It provides a pipeline for acquiring, caching, deforming, shading and rendering vast quantities of particles at unprecedented speed to represent natural phenomena like dust, smoke, silt, ocean surface foam, plasma and even solid objects. Krakatoa integrates well with Particle Flow, and provides data exchange capabilities for sharing particles with other 3D and simulation applications.

Rendering features include support for shading and texturing using standard Max maps and materials; motion blur and depth of field effects; particle self-shadowing and shadow casting from and onto matte objects; ambient participating medium extinction to simulate atmospheric and underwater light and color behavior and more.

Krakatoa is available for Max 8 and 9, and costs $495 plus support ($123.75) for the standard bundle (1 workstation license and 2 rendering licenses). A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Boomer Labs needs beta testers...

Boomer Labs, together with artist Ziv Qual, have started beta testing an upcoming plugin called Occlusion Pass Generator. It is a one-click solution for creating occlusion passes, and can also keep bump / opacity / displacement maps in the calculations.

If you are interested in being a beta tester, you can sign up here (project name - OPG).

Plugin News: Utilities

Itoo Software have posted a beta version of Glue v2.5 on their forum (registration required). Changes include:
- Fixed bug when applying Glue to splines in axis X/Y
- New option to preserve original vertices of linear splines (curve splines are always interpolated)
- Vertices of the resulting spline now may be converted to Bezier and edited

New Plugin: Lighting

LightRigger is a commercial MAXScript which provides a draft-quality, global illumination lighting system for the default scanline renderer. Unlike full-featured global illumination renderers, LightRigger uses standard Max lights and components to simulate only the diffuse interreflection component of global illumination. It's main advantage is speed, both in setup and rendering.

LightRigger is available for Max 3 to 9 and costs $25 (commercial use) or $10 (non-commercial use). A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Animation

Changes for v3.0 are:
- Adds CATMuscle, a fully scaleable solution for solving skin deformation problems
- Adds setup controllers for layers and bones
- Adds layer configuration baking
- Adds new rig nodes for adding extra information to rigs
- A new rig preset system allows you to save rigs by themselves, without animation
- Adds new CATUnits position, rotation, and float controllers
- Bones now have inheritance options for animation and setup mode
- Adds a new layer collapsing tool
- Adds a new layer manager for complete CATRig layer management
- CATMotion now supports arbitrary numbers of feet per limb
- CATMotion foot nodes can now be automatically placed on the ground plane

CAT is available for Max 7 to 9 and costs $995. An upgrade from v2.x to v3.0 costs $295. A demo version is available here.

Plugin News: Orbaz @ Siggraph 2007

Orbaz Technologies, Inc. will be giving a sneak peek at Particle Flow Tools: Box#3 v1.4 at the TurboSquid booth during the show, with demonstrations by Particle Flow masters Charley Carlat and Allan McKay. You can find the times of the demos here.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.0.7 are:
- Skeletons are no longer written to the shader folder
- Submaterial IDs now wrap around like in Max
- Export with more than 4 submeshes using dedicated geometry buffers no longer crashes
- Fixes a memory leak in static and skinned mesh export

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v3.04B are:
- Now exports/import a correct micro-facet Blinn shininess factor
- Imported triangle strip / triangle fan polygons are re-exported as triangle lists
- FCDocument supports multiple physics scene instances in the <scene> element
- FCDocument allows for XRef of visual and physics scenes
- FCDController allows for XRef of a controller source
- FCDEffectStandard has improved <param> support for profile_COMMON
- FCDGeometryPolygonTools triangulates triangle fans and triangle strips
- FCDMaterial allows for XRef of an effect within a material
- FUUri parses more complex URIs
- Loads of minor bug-fixes. A complete list of changes can be found here

Plugin News: nPower Software @ Siggraph

If you are heading off to Siggraph 2007, nPower Software are going to be offering a 35% reduction on all of their products at the show.

They are also going to be showing their upcoming Power Surfacing plugin, a new low-cost surfacing only plugin for Max split out from the core of Power NURBS. I don't know what the price is going to be like, but I'll keep you informed.

Plugin Update: Modelling

Changes for v4.0 are:
- Support for Max 9
- A major rewrite of existing functions
- New uncluttered interface
- Loads of new features (too many to list here)
- New documentation

Orionflame is available for Max 6 to 9 and costs $149. A demo version is available here.

New Plugin: Import / Export

Power ProEtoMax allows native translation of Pro/Engineer files directly into Max. It is designed to handle the large data sets typical of CAD models, and also contains all the necessary tools to cleanup, prepare and render Pro/E models.

Features include:
- Native translation of Pro/E models / assemblies
- Import precise trimmed NURBS
- User control of tessellation for display / rendering
- High quality mesh generation
- Cleanup of imported data
- Optimized for large assemblies
- Intelligent snapping

Power ProEtoMax is available for Max 7 to 9 and costs $2495. A demo version can be made available by contacting David Gill. More information can be found at the bottom of this page.

Plugin News: RPManager Siggraph special offer...

Grant Adam has started a Siggraph special offer on his RPManager plugin which runs for the whole of August 2007. For the whole month you can purchase any number of full licenses for $200 (normally $300). To take advantage of the offer, you need to go to this page, and ignore the text saying the offer only applies for the first full license.

RPManager is available for Max 6 to 9. A demo version is available here.

Plugin Update: Global Utilities

Changes for v1.0.69 are:
- I don't know at the moment, if I find out, I'll post it here

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.2.16 are:
- Adds support for Loki, Pro Cycling Manager (version
- Adds support for Megami Tensei: Imagine (version
- Adds support for Emerge Demo (versions and
- Adds a Weld Vertices option to the importer
- Removes veryrxv change from the exporter because it broke Oblivion export
- Adds a Clone Mesh button to the Props on Collision Modifier and bhk Proxy Object

Plugin Updates: 3DDragon Software updates

I've just seen that 3DDragon Software have updated both of their plugins last week, but I have no idea what exactly has been updated... The latest versions are VRay Batch Render Pro v6.0 ($109) and Super Material Pro v3.0 ($49).

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v0.94b are:
- Adds support for Map-Channels

Plugin News: Upcoming plugins from Craft Animations

Craft Animations have posted some information on their upcoming plugins Craft Crawler and Craft CrawlerTracks, which allow you to drive tanks, bulldozers and more in real time.

For $99 you can start using the fully functional beta versions of Craft Crawler Tracks, Craft Crawler (the vehicle that drives on the tracks) and Craft Firepower (simulating the gun turret) now. When the final versions are released you will have the opportunity to purchase them at a 10% discount (minus the original $99). There is no obligation to buy the full versions when they are released but at that point the BETA test licenses will expire. For more information on the offer see the page linked above.

Plugin News: VRayISO in public beta testing

I've only just noticed that Dieter Morgenroths impressive VRayISO plugin has entered the public beta stage. This plugin only works if you are using V-Ray, and you will need RC3 or higher. It is capable of rendering ISO surfaces, making things like coral, stone, etc. much easier to create.

Plugin News: PWrapper v1.03 available for Max 9

3D Aliens have released PWrapper v1.03 for Max 9 (32-bit and 64-bit) for use with their glu3D plugin. You can grab a demo version from their download page.

Plugin Update: Import / Export

Changes for v1.3.8 are:
- Adds a feature for removing bone translations on a per-animation basis
- Adds a feature for setting the mesh animation sample rate on a per-animation basis
- Modified the way vertex normals are retrieved
- Fixes an occasional crash when exporting the selected objects
- Fixes an occasional crash when exporting animated meshes
- Adds a table of contents to the documentation
- Adds a feature for sorting exported child nodes
- Adds a feature for rescaling mesh animation lengths
- Adds a feature for writing the first mesh animation key frame as the last one

Plugin News: New licensing program for AI.implant

Presagis Inc. (formerly Engenuity Technologies Inc.) have announced a new licensing strategy for the AI.implant plugin. Presagis will no longer charge a licensing fee for AI.implant and will now offer perpetual source code agreements to qualified developers of AAA game titles in exchange for marketing exposure relating to future titles developed with AI.implant.

You can find the full press release here.

AI.implant is available for Max 7 and 8. A demo version is available here.

Site News: Lack of updates...

Sorry about the lack of updates recently, but I've had a lot to do the past week or so. I'll start catching up this afternoon.